Legumes are healthy foods in their own right, which also help to improve soil quality. Nevertheless, grain legumes account for only 1-4% of crop rotation. Pete Iannetta, a molecular ecologist at the James Hutton Institute, believes the humble bean might be the key to a more holistic and caring society.
Despite their nutritional value, legumes are deeply underrated. Bálint Balázs, senior researcher at ESSR, a research facility based in Hungary, explains the importance of growing and eating legumes. Beans, for example, are associated with poverty, but at the end of the day, they could save the planet.
The world needs more protein, but animal-based protein intake is by no means sustainable. Legumes are a good alternative to meat and thanks to their biological nitrogen fixation capacities, they also benefit the environment.